Confession: I have only seen about 10% of Scotland.
Okay that figure is probably not completely accurate… but I hate to say that although I love Scotland and the beautiful scenery, I’ve not seen as much of it as I should have by now, or would like to.
I blame the weather. When it comes to booking a holiday, I want to be guaranteed sun and heat because I’m deprived of it most the year round. You just need to look at my ghostly complexion to see that.
This year my chosen destination is Malta (more to come on that later in the year) but at the beginning of the year I made a conscious decision that I should also try to see as much of Scotland as possible. With this in mind, last week Alan and I had some time off work so we headed up to his family’s home in the Highlands. We love it up there and try to visit as often as possible, and this time we also had the time to travel across to the west coast for a night.
Confession 2: I had never been to the west coast of Scotland before last week.
Given that I’ve lived in Scotland for my whole life, this is particularly poor. So, blind leading the blind, we headed off on our road trip to an area just north of Ullapool. We stopped at the stunning Achnahaird Beach and then continued to Altandhu where we camped at the Port A Bhaigh campsite.
We actually made several more stops – sometimes to get some instagold (obviously) and other times because there was a sheep lying in the middle of the road completely refusing to budge! Welcome to the West…
We paid our £15, picked a spot and prepared to pitch our 2 man tent. We had packed the car with a load of supplies so we could cook for ourselves and really experience life in the wild. Then we spotted the pub. And it served food. Fresh, fishy, west coast food. Instantly forgetting all about our pre-packed supplies, we booked a table for 8pm and after assembling our tent and a wander along the beautiful coastline, we headed for some scran at Am Fuaran Bar.
Am Fuaran translates from gaelic as “the well” – a fitting name for this cosy, family-run watering hole. The building dates back to the 1800s and the history is evident from the old photographs covering the walls. We weren’t overly hungry so stuck to main courses only. I went for the langoustines cooked in garlic butter.
The langoustines were the nicest I have ever tasted – beautifully fresh and complimented well by the subtle garlic sauce. The chips were also deliciously fluffy making for a heart warming dish. We finished our meal with a couple of drinks at the bar then played a few games of pool. I won… one out of four games but I still won.
We were very lucky with the weather – it was a lovely warm evening so we sat and watched the sun set and the slight breeze kept the midges at bay. The only issue was that it was so warm that the tent could’ve been mistaken for a sauna come morning. The good thing about that – I got up nice and early. The bad thing – I fell asleep in the sun and ended up a shade of lobster red. Typical Scot.
I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Ullapool and Altandhu if you find yourself in the Highlands or on the west coast of Scotland. I can’t wait to continue my adventures on that side of the country… send your suggestions my way!